Good morning, All! As you can see by the title of this blog, I have found a way to continue ministry in a different format. I may be out of the pulpit now, but I have some who have no way to be in church. Therefore, I have been trying to find a way to continue reaching out to them–and they are not on line. I suddenly realized this morning that I could develop a newsletter format to mail to those who are not on line. Therefore, I am creating it while adding to my blog. The change will need refinement, I am sure, but here is the first attempt:
“Recharging,” a friend said
Last week I wrote a blog that stated that in this period of rest I was sensing confusion. My friend replied to the blog said maybe I should consider this is a time for ‘recharging.’
As the week continued on filled with so much to do, I realized rest continues to be evasive. The fact is that I have always lived with a goal in mind and a process to follow to reach that goal.
Therefore, I have thought a great deal about the term recharging and have decided that is the best definition for my current status. I am recharging.
Refueling tends to mean that one has completely run out of fuel, and I just did not feel that was the situation. I also know that rest was needed because I was locked into a mindset that kept me in a work mode rather than do something for fun (partly because it seems wasteful and selfish).
Recharging indicates that the fuel still keeps you running, but it is getting low. Maybe I was getting low enough that the dash light had come on and those around me noticed it before I did.
Therefore, I am going to consider myself ‘recharging’ rather than on a prescribed rest or having to be refueled. Thank you to my friend for the suggestion, but also thank you to the DS and other friends and family members who noticed that the warning light had lit up and insisted that I needed to recharge.
Today, I have suddenly seen a little picture into how I can continue to share thoughts with others who do not have internet access—a written form of Susandoodles. This will give me an opportunity to stay connected, but also to share faith journeys in different ways. I pray that this reaches you and it lifts you up.
Ephesians prayer for our use
Sunday, another sermon in Rev. Jim Downing’s Masterpieceseries on Ephesians, introduced the prayer that Paul shared for spiritual growth.
I find listening to a sermon on a scripture that I have also used creates an eerie feeling—partly that I may have gotten something wrong, but also a sense of relief that those verses speak to others, too.
Using Ephesians 3:14-21, Rev. Downing provided a version with blanks in it. When I saw the small handout, I wondered why the blanks. The instructions at the bottom said, “Consider filling in the blank with the name of a loved one, a friend, a co-worker, neighbor or person from the community, or even a person with whom you have trouble. Pray sincerely for God to do these things in and for their lives. You can also pray this prayer for yourself.”
Here is the prayer:
Lord, I pray that out of Your glorious riches __________ may be strengthened with power through God’s Spirit in __________’s inner being, so that Christ may dwell in __________’s heart through faith. And I pray that __________, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that this love that surpasses knowledge—that __________ may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to God’s power that is at work within us, to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.
My prayer is that this tool Rev. Downing provided brings the faithful closer to God, but also heal the wounds in relationships.
An extra note on this scripture/prayer
This summer, my daughter and I have joined in a Bible study entitled, #Fruited, which is written by Bonnie Kathryn Hunter and Bethany Fleming, two teachers (ironically one a kindergarten teacher and one a high school English teacher—which matches our teaching careers).
The concept is that when one is rooted in scripture, one is able to enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) in all life situations.
The experience of working through the study (we are in the last week) has been such a new experience for the two of us, but it keeps intersecting with real life and our philosophy in teaching in surprising ways.
The study also keeps running into other scriptures, and one is the Paul’s letter prayer Rev. Downing used and I have used in the past: three different presentations on the same verse within the last year.
As I continue recharging and listening for God’s next call in my own life, the scriptures are the high octane fuel of our lives. I hope that as I continue to find ways of sharing my faith, my Susandoodles blog or this Susandoodles in print can help others in their faith journey. May God’s blessings be with you.